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Cool under heat.

David Hawksworth, Hawksworth, Vancouver, BC

BE THEY PROFOUND OR PROFANE, the words in Marco Pierre White's influential 1990 autobiography White Heat put food on the map for a generation of chefs, including a 21-year-old young man grinding away in the kitchens of Vancouver.

Hungry for a European apprenticeship, David Hawksworth composed several "Dear Chef" letters in which he stated his arrival date in London (the following week) and the phone number of his temporary headquarters (a hostel). One of those letters was addressed to Marco Pierre White.

"Marco rang up the hostel on a Monday and said, 'you can start on Wednesday,'" Hawksworth recounts. Knives in tow, he arrived at Canteen in Chelsea Harbor at 7:00 am and finished at 12:30 am every day for the next year. It was grisly working under the terrifically talented, notorious bad boy. Yet Hawksworth says, "Marco showed us what was possible if you put your mind to it."

"In Europe it's super intense. It's every man for himself. You really have to make an effort and get along with everyone or else you're done in a day. Back then we did 180-200 for lunch and dinner. In Vancouver, years earlier, it was like Club Med."

White assumed he'd excel at fish station because of his port city roots, but Hawksworth was unschooled in rouget, turbot and other Atlantic schools. "It was a steep learning curve," he says. "They threw me in the deep end of the pool and I barely sunk!"

Next stop: Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxford where he ascended from commis to sous chef, followed by his first head chef slot at Blanc's newer space, Le Petit Blanc Brasserie.

In 1996 the phone rang. "I hear you're unhappy," said the familiar voice on the other end of the phone. Deja vu. Marco Pierre White offered Hawksworth a head chef vacancy at L'Escargot in Soho. Flash forward four brutal years later. He welcomed a change working for someone he calls, "Straightforward, who doesn't play games, and isn't pompous. Phil Howard of The Square is a nice, normal guy who is down to earth and cuts out all the bullshit."

Turning 30 was a turning point. He had met his future wife, Annabel, but still worked seven days a week. "'I couldn't do it any more,'" Hawksworth said. "People go to London for just a couple years. I was therefor 10."

Vancouver Harbor, ringed by shiny high-rises that surge from sea to sky and palatial saw-toothed Coast Mountains beckoned. Not to mention, the best salmon and Dungeness crab in the world. At the epoch 2000 millennium, Hawksworth reunited with his hometown. For the next eight years he'd be found on Granville Street, elevating the food at West.

"I wanted to drive my own bus. I had a vision of how things should be done." In what Hawksworth calls "weird timing" he met the new owners of the 1927 downtown Vancouver landmark, Hotel Georgia. Their big plans to revamp the timeless treasure included a first rate restaurant. "If I were able to open there I'd have a fairly good chance of survival. Downtown stays pretty busy."

Toronto-based designer Alessandro Munge brought his international elan to the project. Although he and Hawksworth had not met before, Munge suggested they hit the streets of New York and scrutinize the food, service, and decor at as many restaurants as possible. "We visited eleven restaurants, including Craft and Nobu, in one night," Hawksworth says. Meanwhile, five weeks away from the opening, bookings at Hawksworth were to the hilt.

With a glimmering chandelier affixed, opalescent tabletops polished, and his name etched in letter case on the windowpane, Hawksworth the restaurant exuded a grandness beyond what Hawksworth the man envisioned.

Now that Hawksworth controls his universe of white light and white heat, anticipate more great things to come from him, including a second, humbler opus. As he says, "There's room for more great food in Vancouver."


David Hawksworth, Hawksworth

For the stock:
2 pounds game bones
2 carrots, peeled and roughly
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
3 onions, peeled and roughly
15 button mushrooms
1 bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
Water to cover

For the squab:
Reduced stock, from above
2 cups sherry vinegar
2 cups maple syrup
4 whole squab, legs and clavicle
  bones removed
Salt and pepper, as needed

For the pine mushroom
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, peeled and finely
2 cups pine mushrooms, sliced
2 cups milk
1 ounce fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon salt

For the pine mushroom puree:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 small white onion, peeled
  and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and
  finely chopped
22 ounces pine mushrooms
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 ounces butter
Salt to taste

For the celery:
4 celery ribs, ends trimmed, and
  peeled with a vegetable peeler
1/4 cup apple juice
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the celeriac:
18 ounces celeriac, peeled, trimmed,
  and sliced on a vegetable sheeter
2 cups canola oil for frying

For the dish:
Roasted cipollini onions
Chive blossoms
Chervil pluches

FOR THE STOCK: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spread out all bones
and vegetables on a large baking sheet. Roast in the oven until
golden brown. Remove and transfer to a large stock pot. Cover with
water and simmer for 6 hours. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

FOR THE SQUAB: In a saucepan, bring stock, syrup, and sherry vinegar to
a simmer. Using a slotted spoon, dip each squab in liquid for 15
seconds, coating the squab completely. Remove immediately and
transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes. Repeat this process 6 times
until a lacquer develops. After the final dip, refrigerate the
squab overnight.

FOR THE PINE MUSHROOM EMULSION: In a pot, add butter and shallots
and saute on medium heat until translucent. Add mushrooms and saute
20 minutes on medium heat. Add milk and bring to simmer. Remove
from heat and add thyme and salt. Steep in the refrigerator
overnight. The next day, strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding

FOR THE PINE MUSHROOM PUREE: In a pot over medium heat, add butter
and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Increase heat to
medium-high, add sliced pine mushrooms, and saute for another 20
minutes until very fragrant. Add milk and cream and reduce by an
ounce. Place in a Thermomix blender. Heat to 176 degrees and blend
until smooth. Pass through a fine mesh sieve. Season with salt to
taste. Scoop in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, and reserve.

FOR THE CELERY: Lay celery strips flat in a vacuum sealing bag. Add
apple juice, vinegar, and salt. Compress on high, sealing until
ribbons are transparent and absorb some of the liquid. Reserve in
the refrigerator.

FOR THE CELERIAC: Wrap celeriac slices
around 1-inch wooden dowels overlapping
by about 1/4-inch. Place celeriac in
dehydrator at 284 degrees for 6 hours.
When completely dry, heat canola oil to
375 degrees. Remove celeriac from dowel.
Fry celeriac until golden brown. Cool, and
reserve in an airtight container.

FOR THE DISH: Preheat oven to 475
degrees. Season squab with salt and
pepper. Roast squab for 10-12 minutes,
or until tender and the skin is crispy.
Heat puree and emulsion and keep
warm. Strain celery ribbons from liquid
and temper. Remove squab from the
oven and rest on a cutting board for 8
minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut breasts
from the squab.

TO SERVE: On a plate, place squab
breasts. Garnish with celery ribbons, crispy
celeriac, and cipollini onions. Pipe circles
of pine mushroom puree. Using a frother,
foam emulsion and spoon onto vegetables.
Garnish with chive blossoms and chervil.

Serves 4

David Hawksworth, Hawksworth

For the pine mushrooms:
12 ounces pine mushrooms,
  cleaned and sliced 3A-inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the yuzu brown butter:
7 ounces brown butter
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon yuzu juice
1 tablespoon salt

For the finger chili *:
1 ounce finger chili, thinly sliced,
  held in ice water

For the crispy garlic:
2 cups milk, divided into
  three equal portions
7 ounces garlic cloves,
  peeled and sliced thinly
  on mandoline
Grape seed oil, for frying

For the milk solids:
3 ounces milk solids
7 ounces butter

For the garnish:
Micro cilantro
Maldon sea salt

FOR THE PINE MUSHROOMS: Preheat a grill. Dress mushrooms with olive
oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill mushrooms for
approximately 2 minutes on both sides until mushrooms have char
marks and are completely cooked through. Remove from grill and
drizzle with lemon juice.

FOR THE YUZU BROWN BUTTER: In a pot over medium heat, heat brown
butter until fragrant, and light brown in color. Add yuzu juice,
season with salt, and reserve at room temperature.

FOR THE CRISPY GARLIC: Heat oil to 300 degrees. In a pot, add 1/3 of
milk and the sliced garlic. Bring to boil. Strain through a fine mesh
sieve, and poach garlic 2 more times in remaining milk. Remove garlic
with a slotted spoon and dry in single layer on paper towels. When dry,
fry in oil until golden brown and drain on paper towels. Season
with salt and cool. Reserve garlic in an airtight container.

FOR THE MILK SOLIDS: In a pot over low heat, add milk solids and melted
butter. Stir frequently to prevent milk solids from sticking. Once
solids have turned a dark golden brown, strain through a fine mesh
sieve and transfer to paper towels.

TO SERVE: On a plate, scatter mushrooms and drizzle with yuzu brown
butter. Top with sliced chili. Scatter with crispy garlic and milk
solids. Garnish with micro cilantro and season with Maldon sea

* The finger chili is more commonly known as cayenne. The Scoville heat units measure 30,000 to 50,000.


David Hawksworth

For the leek ash:
1 small bunch leeks, trimmed, green
  parts only

For the potato tuilles:
2 medium size potatoes, peeled and
Salt, as needed
3 egg whites

For the pine mushroom fondue:
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 ounces pine mushrooms, finely
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces Taleggio cheese, rind
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely
Salt to taste

For the soft poached hen egg:
4 large free-range eggs
Maldon sea salt to taste

FOR THE LEEK ASH: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cleaned
leek tops on baking tray and roast until black and charred.
Cool, transfer to a grinder, and grind into a powder. Store in
an airtight container.

FOR THE POTATO TUILLES: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a
medium size pot, add potatoes and cover in water. Add salt and
boil until just tender. Remove from heat and drain in a colander.
Using a food mill, puree potatoes and push through a tamis.
Incorporate egg whites and pass through a tamis a second time. In
a thin, even layer, spread onto a lightly sprayed Silpat. Bake for 5-6
minutes. Heat a deep fryer to 300 degrees. Fry potato until golden
and translucent. Drain on paper towels. When cool, break into
pieces and store in an airtight container.

FOR THE PINE MUSHROOM FONDUE: In a small saute pan over
medium heat, heat butter. Add shallots and garlic and saute until
just translucent, approximately 15-20 minutes. In a larger-sized pan
over high heat, add oil, and roast the pine mushrooms. Season with
salt. In a bowl, combine the garlic and shallots with mushrooms
and reserve off the heat. Add cream to the pan and reduce by
1/3. Add Taleggio and Parmesan cheeses and cook, stirring, until
smooth. Add pine mushroom mixture, adjust seasonings, and
continue cooking for 1-2 minutes to infuse flavors. Set aside.

FOR THE SOFT POACHED HEN EGG: Set immersion circulator to
148 degrees. Using a spoon, carefully drop eggs into the water.
Cook for 45 minutes.

TO SERVE: Spoon some of the pine mushroom fondue onto a plate.
Carefully remove the egg from the water, and crack open on top.
Add Maldon sea salt to taste. Scatter with potato tuilles. Sprinkle
with the leek ash. Serve immediately.

Serves 8

For the cure:
2 1/2 cups salt
1 cup castor sugar
4 ounces Insta Cure #1

For the mushrooms:
3 ounces grape seed oil
1 pound pine mushroom, brushed
  clean, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 teaspoon salt

For the terrine:
2 pound lobe foie gras, deveined
1/4 cup cure, from above
2 ounces Armagnac
4 ounces Madeira
1 teaspoon ground white pepper

For the pine nut clusters:
17 ounces pine nuts
1 cup isomalt
1/4 cup sugar

For the garnish:
Concord grapes
Thinly sliced pine mushrooms
Nasturtium leaves
Maldon sea salt

David Hawksworth, Hawksworth

FOR THE CURE: In a bowl, combine all ingredients
and set aside.

FOR THE MUSHROOMS: Preheat oven to 375
degrees. In a saute pan over high heat, heat the
oil. Add mushrooms, season with salt, and quickly
sear. Transfer to the oven, roasting until caramelized
on one side, about 45 seconds. Turn mushrooms
and cook for another 20 seconds, or until cooked
through. Remove from the oven and drain on paper
towels. Set aside.

FOR THE TERRINE: Place foie gras in a hotel pan and
add remaining ingredients. Cover with plastic film
and refrigerate for 4 hours. Preheat oven to 300
degrees. Line a 16" x 2" x 1 1/2 terrine mold with
plastic wrap and set aside. Transfer foie gras to a
baking pan, and place in the oven, stirring every 2
minutes for a total of 8 minutes. Be careful not to
let foie split or the internal temperature reach over
100 degrees. Remove from oven, strain through a
fine mesh sieve and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Add 1/3 of the foie mixture to the mold and place
in refrigerator. Keep other 2/3 of foie mixture in a
warm spot. When the first layer of foie sets, arrange
half of the sliced pine mushrooms down the length
of the terrine. Add another 1/3 of the foie mixture
on top of the mushrooms, gently tapping down any
air bubbles, and return to the refrigerator to set.
Repeat, using the rest of the mushrooms followed
by the final 1/3 of the foie gras. Cover with plastic
film, and place in the refrigerator to set overnight.

FOR THE PINE nut CLUSTERS: Preheat oven to 350
degrees. Lightly toast pine nuts until golden brown,
about 8-10 minutes. Place isomalt and sugar in a
pot and bring to 284 degrees, or a light amber color.
Add warm pine nuts, stir to combine, and pour onto
a sheet pan lined with parchment. Cool and break
into clusters. Reserve in an airtight container.

TO SERVE: Carefully remove the terrine from the
mold. Using a warm knife, slice into 3/4-inch slices
and arrange on a plate. Garnish with concord
grapes, sliced pine mushrooms, pine nut clusters
and nasturtium leaves. Season with Maldon sea salt.


David Hawksworth, Hawksworth

For the lobsters:
9 ounces salt
2 gallons water
4 1-pound lobsters
3 ounces butter
Zest of 1 lemon

For the grains:
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
4 whole bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons wild rice
Canola oil for frying

For the pine mushroom dashi:
4 cups water
7 ounces dried kombu
1 1/2 ounces bonito flakes
8 ounces pine mushrooms,
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white soy
1/8 cup shiro dashi
1 1-inch piece peeled ginger
  root, sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled, and sliced

For the dish:
6 ounces fresh English peas,
  blanched and shucked
Mustard flowers

FOR THE LOBSTERS: In a large stock pot, bring salted water
to a boil. Add lobsters and steep for 3 minutes. Cool in an
Ice water bath. Remove meat from shells, keeping tails
whole and saving claws for another use. Place tails, butter,
and lemon in a commercial vacuum sealing bag. Seal and
reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.

FOR THE GRAINS: Rinse barley under cold running water for
30 minutes. In a pot, add chicken stock. Make a sachet
with black peppercorns, fennel seeds, bay leaves, and
thyme, and add to the stock, bringing to a simmer. Add
barley and stir frequently, cooking on medium-high heat
until tender. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and set
barley aside. Cool stock and set aside. In a medium size
pot, heat oil to 400 degrees or until smoking. Add the wild
rice, and cook until it puffs, approximately 15 seconds.
Drain on paper towels. Cool at room temperature. Store in
an airtight container.

FOR THE PINE MUSHROOM DASHI: In a pot, add water with
kombu and bring to a low simmer. Remove from the heat,
add the bonito, and return to a simmer. Remove from heat
and add the pine mushrooms. Bring to a simmer before
removing from heat a third time. Add all other ingredients
and steep for 2 hours. Strain through a fine mesh sieve.

FOR THE DISH: Place the lobster in an immersion circulator
at 148 degrees and cook for 7 minutes. Gently heat the
barley and peas in a little of the reserved stock and add a
pinch of salt. Warm dashi to a simmer. Place the grains and
peas in the bottom of a bowl. Remove lobster tails from the
bags and place in the center of the bowl. Add crispy wild
rice, mache, and mustard flowers. Finish with a splash of
pine mushroom dashi.


Hawksworth has the greatest concentration of sommeliers in Vancouver, with a professional always at the ready. It's a level of service the city has never seen before. Bryant Mao, Hawksworth Wine Director says, "Our wine list is very much inspired and guided by the contemporary Canadian cuisine of Chef David Hawksworth and his culinary team. Wine plays an important role in our guests' dining experience and our wine list is designed to be as compelling, diverse and approachable as the food menus." Quality combined with value is an essential part of Hawksworth's philosophy, with 745 wines on its list, and 268 under the $100 mark. The premium end of the list encompasses a select cross-section from the world's most prestigious vineyards, including museum stock and rare vintages.
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Publication:Art Culinaire
Date:Mar 22, 2015
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